Irish selectors add some surprise names to squad for Pakistan Test

Uncapped seamer Nathan Smith gets call as 14-man squad named for historic match

Ireland’s inaugural Test match against Pakistan is at Malahide Cricket Club next weekend. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland’s inaugural Test match against Pakistan is at Malahide Cricket Club next weekend. Photograph: Inpho

 

Ireland’s selectors made some surprise decisions as they unveiled their 14-man squad for next week’s historic first Test match against Pakistan in Malahide.

The changes all come in the bowling ranks, with left-arm spinner George Dockrell and the pace duo of Barry McCarthy and Peter Chase all left out.

All-rounder Stuart Thompson’s 148 for the North West Warriors against the Leinster Lightning in the opening game of the interprovincial championship during the week earned him a call-up.

Merrion’s Tyrone Kane, who won seven caps in Twenty20 internationals in 2015, is also named in Graham Ford’s squad, while uncapped Australian-born seamer Nathan Smith has also won a call-up.

Middle order batsman James Shannon, who has played one Twenty20 international since 2013, is also named in the squad.

Dockrell, who has won 182 caps, misses out with Ireland’s attack set to be stacked with seam options. Off-spinner Andrew McBrine is the only frontline slow bowler named in the squad,

Boyd Rankin is in line to become one of the handful of cricketers to play Test cricket for two countries after his one cap for England in the disastrous Ashes tour in 2013-14.

Ed Joyce has returned to action and looks set to make his Test debut just four months shy of his 40th birthday.

William Porterfield will lead the side for the Pakistan match, which gets underway on Friday, May 11th.

Cricket Ireland also announced that ball-by-ball coverage will be provided by online broadcasters Guerilla Cricket, which have made a name for themselves by their left-field approach to covering the sport.

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said Guerilla Cricket’s ability to provide uninterrupted coverage of the Test match was key to them being awarded the broadcast rights.

Deutrom said: “While a number of possibilities were assessed, what eventually won Guerilla Cricket the radio broadcast rights was their ability to deliver unique and uninterrupted coverage. For our fans this means that every ball and every key moment should be available.”

The match will be shown live on Sky Sports, while a highlights show will be broadcast each evening on RTÉ.

IRELAND SQUAD: William Porterfield (North West Warriors/Formby, capt), Andrew Balbirnie (Leinster Lightning/Pembroke), Ed Joyce (Leinster Lightning/Merrion), Tyrone Kane (Leinster Lightning/Merrion), Andy McBrine (North West Warriors/Donemana), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O’Brien (Leinster Lightning/Railway Union), Niall O’Brien (North West Warriors/Nantwich), Boyd Rankin (North West Warriors/Warwickshire), Nathan Smith (Northern Knights/Instonians), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), James Shannon (Northern Knights/Instonians), Stuart Thompson (North West Warriors/Eglinton), Gary Wilson (Derbyshire).

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